Sitemap 101

Aug 1st, 2014 - Erika White

A web design and development project always starts with a finalized sitemap, a list of all main pages and subpages included in your site structure. A well-thought-out and properly designed sitemap is helpful for search engines and users to discover the content of your website - benefitting your online rankings.

For every page you intend to include on your website, reflect on this one important question: How can this page support conversion?

sitemap infographic

Converting Visitors to Customers

One of the main purposes of your site is to convert web traffic into leads and leads into sales. Although not every single page on your website should be a final step in the conversion process, it should be a helpful step towards getting your site visitor to arrive there. It certainly is not a manipulative marketing strategy. Let’s make that clear. Good websites don’t manipulate consumer behavior; they help users find what they are looking for.

By building a site structure (content including video and images) to make site visitors proceed from the investigation stage to the interest stage and finally to the purchase stage, you are helping them reach their goal that brought them to search online in the first place.

How Do You Behave On the Web?

Think about your own behavior on the web. How do you search for something you’re interested in? It can be something for your hobby, stuff for your home, travel arrangements, etc. When you type a search term, examine the results, and when you see a link you want to click, what makes you want to do it? Chances are there is something in the phrasing of the link (Title tag) or the text below it (Description tag) that prompts you to think that the webpage you are going to be directed to is going to give you what you are looking for. Examining how you behave on the web will give you an idea on how best to develop a sitemap and afterwards the content for your website.

It’s All About Trust

To get your site visitor to the final stage of the conversion process, it’s all about building trust. When a visitor lands on a page on your site that does not give them any answers, it’s either poorly optimized or should not be on the website at all - making them not want to return to your website.

There are a number ways to build trust and authority on the web. The main point to take away today is that conversion is a process. If a page on your proposed sitemap does nothing for the conversion process, scrap it.

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